There were no telltale signs, no warnings; Not even Madam Rosa's "Laki Dei Tudei" line.

I struck gold today!

Saturdays start slow as in any weekend. Breakfast was continental: eggs, spam, cereals, and orange juice at 11 am. Nothing special, nothing ominous except for a busted kitchen light and heater. The apartment manager-slash-repair guy was due mid afternoon, so G and I went out to beat the cold.

We went to a local mall where the throng of weekend shoppers was enough to warm the enclosed space. Luck didn't happen until after having a bland and pricey lunch (a 11-dollar Chicken Bourbon that was more adobo than anything Southern American). We made the rounds and did a few on-sale shopping. Fell in love with a moss green-colored jacket at H&M. It was expensive even with a 30% reduction. So I moved on, albeit begrudgingly.

And then there it was, ready for the taking. A crumpled US$20 bill, conspicuously dropped under a rack of on-sale scarfs and other winter paraphernalia. I had to pick it up. Not even a lady in her mid40s walking towards my direction could have made me think otherwise. Of course I made attempts to appear inculpable, guilt-free, and faultless; I handed the bill to G (who just bought a pair of sunglasses) to suggest she dropped it. She was as shocked as I was but tried best not to show any trace.

I know it was a bad knee-jerk reaction but what else is there to say but Pinoy kasi e!

But no, I deferred (restrained was more like it) buying the jacket until the next round of window shopping.

All went well after that. I baked my now famous ziti and turned out pretty popular and yummy for a dinner-slash-birthday dinner. I also received emails that read my mom and godparents are sending over some moolah for my stay here in New York. I was on a roll! I suspect if anyone put me in front of a pachinko machine, I'd hit jackpot at first crank.

Well, almost. After the ziti dinner, the weekend game of tong-its began. I let G play, as always. She seems to get along with the game, anyway. I was more of a pekwa player. Fast forward to last game. The pot was made richer by a single bet-all stunt. Hell broke loose. Everyone had to dirty their hands and play for the pot. So I played beside G. A little coaxing (that might just qualify as cheating) and G had to throw in a favorable card. All my cards were thrown on the table except for a King of Diamonds. It was a gamble with a King being a high-value card in the game. Before I knew it, a string of 10, Jack, Queen of Diamonds was thrown on the table and all I had to do was draw a card, link the King of Diamonds, and throw out the extra to win. Suffice to say (without sounding a bit OA), I won — big time!

A lucky day, indeed. Hopefully more tomorrow, and the next, and the day after next….